Those two hours are not in one solid block, but a few minutes here, a few minutes there; in total in the whole night of eight hours sleep, you have two hours of the third state – which is dreamless sleep, which is really the rejuvenation, revitalization.
That’s why in this state dreams stop, there are no dreams because there is no suppression. Suppression only goes up to the second, the unconscious state, so the dreams remain only in the unconscious state. The third is deeper than the unconscious; it is unconscious, but far deeper, so that even a dream is not possible.
And these two hours are the most valuable because there is no disturbance at all. The body functions absolutely naturally. Everything is relaxed, suspended. Time disappears. You are as if you are dead.
And it is also beautiful; it gives you rest. If you miss it, in the morning you will feel you have been sleeping – but you get up more tired than you had gone to bed, as if sleep itself has been tiring. Because dreams are just like worries, pictorial worries, pictorial tensions.
And this third is also important because just below it, deeper than it, is the real awakening.
This very morning I was saying to you that before the morning the night gets very dark. Don’t be worried about the darkness. The darker the night gets, the closer the morning is.
The third state is the darkest, the most unconscious.
If you are a meditator, then you can go from this third stage to the fourth. If you are not a meditator, then from the third you come back to the second, from the second back to the first, and your daily routine goes on. And the fourth just remains there in the underground, which is your basic reality.
The meditator starts watching with the first stage, the so-called waking stage. And then slowly he starts watching the second stage – when there are dreams he is also there watching. Now he is not a part of the dreams, he is standing alone and the dreams are on the screen.
As he becomes more skillful in watching, he can slip even deeper, to where there is all darkness, nothing to watch except darkness, but it is tremendously peaceful, immensely silent, its depth is unfathomable. And the watcher goes on watching it: it goes on becoming darker and darker, thicker and thicker.
This has been called by the mystics “the dark night of the soul.”
If one becomes afraid – because one has never seen such darkness, one has never seen such deafening silence, one has never entered into such an unknown, unfathomable space – one can go back to the second or to the first.
But if one goes on, remembering one thing, that when the night is the darkest, the morning is very close…. These are the moments when the master is helpful; otherwise it will be very difficult – it is only for a very few rare courageous people to enter into such a cave. One knows not whether it ends anywhere or not; you cannot see any end to it, it is endless.